OAKLAND:  The final buzzer sounded, and LeBron James wasn’t done.

LeBron JamesAs fans filed out of the quieting arena, James grabbed the ball and spiked it with all his might. He flexed his arms and pounded his chest, letting out a roar that echoed from California to Cleveland.

James turned in a triple-double to remember, Matthew Dellavedova made the go-ahead free throws in overtime, and the Cavaliers overcame a fourth-quarter collapse to outlast the Golden State Warriors 95-93 on Sunday night to even the NBA Finals at a game apiece.

James finished with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in 50 minutes, carrying Cleveland’s depleted roster to victory on the NBA’s toughest home floor. The Warriors had been 47-3 at ear-piercing Oracle Arena.

It was the second straight overtime game, and one the Cavs never should’ve let happen.

Stephen Curry had a horrific shooting performance but converted the tying layup for the Warriors late in regulation. The MVP also put Golden State in front 93-92 on free throws with 29.5 seconds left in overtime.

Then, Draymond Green met James at the rim to block his left-handed layup, but the Cavs retained possession. After James Jones missed a 3-pointer, Dellavedova grabbed the rebound and was fouled.

Dellavedova made both to put Cleveland up with 10.1 seconds to play. Curry air-balled a jumper contested by Dellavedova, James got the rebound and hit one of two free throws with 4.4 seconds left.

After James made his free throw, Curry, without a timeout, raced up court and tried to pass ahead to Klay Thompson. But Iman Shumpert batted the ball away to seal the Cavs’ win.

Timofey Mozgov had 17 points and 11 rebounds but sat out a lot late in the fourth quarter and overtime when the Warriors went to a smaller lineup. J.R. Smith scored 13 points and Dellavedova had nine.

Cavs coach David Blatt went with the same lineup that won Games 2 and 3 of the Eastern Conference finals when Irving was out with an injured knee. He started Dellavedova in Irving’s place, and the scrappy Australian corralled Curry as much as anybody has this season.

Curry scored 19 points and shot 5 of 23 from the floor, including 2 of 15 from 3-point range, and had six turnovers.

Klay Thompson tried to pick up the backcourt slack, scoring 34 points. But the Warriors went 8 for 35 from long range and shot 39.8 percent overall.

The Cavs, who shot 32.2 percent, outrebounded the Warriors 55 to 45. It was the lowest shooting percentage for a winning team in the playoffs since at least 1984-85.

Curry broke his 18-minute scoring drought with a 3-pointer during the Warriors’ furious rally, which he finished with a tying finger-roll with 7.2 seconds remaining.

Cleveland called timeout, and got James the ball isolated on Andre Iguodala at the top of the key. James drove hard to his left and his layup rimmed out, and Tristan Thompson’s tip missed to send the game to overtime.

Team Stats

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT1 F
CLE 20 27 15 25 08 95
GSW 20 25 14 28 06 93

Results:

Cleveland Cavaliers 95 beat Golden State Warriors 93

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
Leave a replyComments (1)
  1. Amarnath.N 4 years ago

    I missed seeing the game 2 as I was on travel…your write ups nearly make up for the action missed..however good a shooter may be there are days it just donot work..Carry the great player though he is, his 20% shooting would have given approx a 10 point adv to the opponent..every missed shot is almost a turnover as defense is better positioned to collect the rebounds….that is basketball world over still depends more on post and close play which has more consistency than outside shooting…well..I missed seeing the 3rd game today too due to power failure and look forward to your write up to make up..

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